I never wanted a tattoo. It never interested me. Apparently that’s changed though.
I heard once in health class that the ink can cause birth defects in children. I doubt this is a significant problem nowadays, but high school health class left a strong impression on me.
Plus, the only tattoos I’d ever seen said something negative (in my opinion) about the wearer. Like, the tattoo is ugly: that person has bad taste. Or the tattoo is the name of a former partner: that person has poor judgement. The tattoo is related to gang activity: even if that person moves on, they have to wear evidence of their criminal past for the rest of their life which can lead to social or career problems.
With clothes or haircuts it’s temporary. When you’re 38 you’ll look back at pictures from your early 20s and groan at the crop tops and chokers and undercuts. Or not, they’re pretty cool styles. We roll our eyes at the 70s feather cuts and 80s perms and early 2000s flat-ironed looks, so I wouldn’t be surprised if that trend continued.
A few justified cases
I did understand tattoos in memory of a loved one, or to commemorate a big event like a divorce.
There was that time when I splattered hot oil on my leg less than six months after getting my gall bladder out and decided if I did get a tattoo it would be to connect the dots (scars).
But I never truly wanted to ink my body until seeing Sean’s new tattoo. I won’t link it here but just, wow.
After seeing his already gorgeous body level up with the addition of this art, I finally understood. Tattoo is a medium that requires skill and talent and taste to make into art. When successful, the person’s body becomes a work of art.
My attitude toward tattoos was about the same as my attitude about little doodles in the margins of your notebook–not really contributing anything, and mostly distracting. Large tattoos were big doodles taking up valuable real estate meant for notes.
(Side note: I doodle in notebooks a lot now. It’s an ADHD coping mechanism similar to fidget toys.)
I think it relates to this hesitation I felt as a kid. I was always scared to put ink to paper, paint to canvas. I hated sullying new journals. I’m sure it’s another underlying reason why I hated writing.
Besides writing though, this hesitation also blocked any attempts I made to create art. I didn’t understand that speed of iteration would always beat quality of iteration, that practice made perfect. I hated wasting materials on an imperfect product. I lacked the carefree nature of most baby artists.
Music worked out for me because the sounds I made with my violin or voice were almost never recorded. I could practice and iterate without permanent evidence of my mistakes.
Now I’m trying to be more carefree about the creative process in general re: music, physical media, writing. I guess I’d get a tattoo to celebrate that growth.
Pictures of tattoos
Here are some pictures of tattoos I like. Disclaimer: I don’t own the rights to any of these images. If I’m violating some kind of copyright let me know and I’ll take it down ASAP.
It’s basically just to be able to say you have a tattoo.
The minimal heart tattoo is pretty cliche but I want one. On my butt. Yep.
Is this not the most me tattoo you’ve ever seen? It makes my heart ache.
I love how abstract this one is:
I like this one potentially as a chest tattoo as well:
Chest / torso tattoos
Rihanna got me into chest/cleavage tattoos. And pretty much all tattoos tbh.
Still, I prefer line art and minimal design. This dotted line chandelier is gorgeous:
For something more bold, I’m in love with these flowers:
The matching side and sternum tattoos are such a great look:
This is some really detailed line work:
This goes along with my original connect-the-dots idea. If I wanted a large tattoo it would be something like this. Ugh so pretty.
There is no plan yet. Right now I’m just gathering images to get a sense of my aesthetic. I’d like to do what Sean did and have an artist custom design something for me. Maybe I’ll get one for my birthday this year?
Have you changed your tune on body modifications like I have? How did it happen? Let me know in the comments.
Feel free to give feedback on the designs I chose! If you know of something I might like, link to it in the comments!
If you have a tattoo with a cool story behind it, let me know in the comments! I’d love to hear about it.